MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers took an important step toward normal Saturday night, May 15 – the first game with up to 50% capacity permitted.
Fifty percent sounded a lot louder than 25% of the stands filled with fans, and Saturday gave the organization a chance to make sure they'll be ready when, in about six weeks, 100% capacity is allowed.
As Brewers fans filed into their seats, they almost immediately noticed the difference.
"We were here, you know, three or four times when it as 25% – pretty dead. Yeah, not really good. This is better for sure," said Paul Senger. "Just the buzz, you can hear it. Just the buzz of people, when they get a hit there’s a lot more yelling."
Things also changed outside. For tailgating, cars are no longer parked in every other spot. And Saturday's rain was not an issue.
"This is our first game this season. We’re very excited even though it’s not the most ideal weather out today," said Donna Wicklein.
The team did not sell enough tickets to reach the full 50% capacity for Saturday's game. Senior Vice President Tyler Barnes said the quickly-changing guidelines have been a challenge for the ticket office.
"Part of the issue with going to 50% on very short notice for these games is we’re doing something – we typically have four months to sell tickets to games, even individual tickets," Barnes said. "For this game, we had just a couple of days. It’s very difficult to predict."
Now, both the organization and the fans prepare for full capacity on June 25.
"Tailgating’s back baby. We’re back to 50%, and I hear 100% is coming next month. We’re totally stoked," Mark Wicklein said.
As the Brewers navigate the changes, tickets will go on sale in stages. Tickets for 100% capacity games go on sale June 4.